Despite facing challenges, women entrepreneurs are more optimistic about revenue and growth than their male counterparts, a new study has found.
Bank of America’s (NYSE:BAC) inaugural Women Business Owner Spotlight study (PDF) surveyed 1,000 small business owners across the United States and found some interesting insights into the minds of women entrepreneurs.
Key Highlights of the Women Business Owner Spotlight Study
Here are some notable takeaways that have emerged from the study.
- About 54 percent of women entrepreneurs expect their revenue to increase over the next 12 months, compared to 48 percent of male entrepreneurs.
- Sixty percent of women small business owners expect to grow their business over the next five years, compared to only 52 percent of men.
- Business credit cards (28 percent), bank funding (23 percent) and personal credit cards (16 percent) are the main sources of finances for women entrepreneurs.
- Fifty one percent of women start their own business because they want to be their own boss.
Business Confidence Higher Among Women Owners
“Female entrepreneurs are excited about the future and focused on the success of their small businesses. They are demonstrating much greater levels of optimism than their male counterparts,” said Sharon Miller, managing director, head of Small Business at Bank of America in a release issued by the bank.
Economic Concerns of Women Business Owners
Although women entrepreneurs feel confident about growth, they have concerns about a variety of economic issues and their impact on business.
Interestingly, both women and men small business owners share similar worries about top economic issues over the next 12 months. These are:
- Concern about the corporate tax rates (54 percent of women and 45 percent of men),
- Concern about the strength of the U.S. dollar (59 percent of women and 45 percent of men), and
- Concern about commodities pricing (52 percent of women and 44 percent of men).
Miller asserts women small business owners “do express concerns about certain areas, which they are taking into account as they continue to grow.”
What Successful Women Entrepreneurs Do Differently
The growing number of women entrepreneurs and their optimism about their businesses may be driven by the successful examples set by prominent female business owners. Whether it’s entrepreneurs like Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr or Julia Hartz, co-founder of Eventbrite, women entrepreneurs have proven how business should be done.
Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal, a clothing retail company, advises, “Don’t give up, don’t take anything personally, and don’t take no for an answer.” Her business started out as an eBay store before she turned it into a multimillion dollar empire with its own clothing line.
Today technology has made it easier for women business owners to pursue their passion and follow their entrepreneurial dreams. Melissa Curling, founder and owner of District Dance Company says “internet has made everything a bit easier.” She uses Facebook groups to reach her target audience and spread the word about her business.
With the right focus and strategy, women entrepreneurs can turn opportunities into success stories.
About the Study
GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications conducted the Bank of America Women Business Owner Spotlight Survey for summer 2016 between March 17 and April 19, 2016 using a pre-recruited online sample of small business owners.